A/N: Here's chapter two! Thank you to anyone who reviewed the last chapter! I apologize if updates are slow; I'm back to school now, so I'm very busy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harvest Moon: Animal Parade.
Chapter Two: A Friendly Introduction
Gill felt as though his arm was being ripped out of its socket as Luke dragged him further down the dirt road leading to the Garmon Mine District. How could I have gotten myself into this?, he thought. Now look where I am! Being dragged to Garmon Mines by a psychopathic lunatic with an axe! And, what's worse, I have to live with this psychopathic lunatic with an axe!
The mayor's son thought desperately for a way out of this. He had a few options. He could:
a.) Reason with Luke
Like hell he'd listen.
b.) Fight his way out
I'd like to keep my head attached to my body today, thanks.
c.) Lie and say he had somewhere else to go
What if Chase or anyone else doesn't let me stay with them? And there's no way I'm staying with my father at this point!
d.) Stay with Luke
Gill sighed in defeat. It now seemed like the only option. So he let himself be dragged along, while Luke blabbered aimlessly. Gill did his best to try to drown out Luke's loud voice, but he was becoming more and more difficult to ignore.
"I can't wait for you to meet Pops and Bo and Boss! Boss is our dog. He's a Pyrenees. He's big and white and SO fluffy! I love fluffy things. They're adorable! But I like manly things, too, of course, 'cause I'm a man! Anyways, I hope you like dogs. Do you like dogs? Ou, are you allergic? 'Cause that'd suck! You'll just have to live with it if you are, 'cause I love my dog, so I'm not kicking him out just because you're staying with us for a few months- I mean days!"
Gill simply glared at the young carpenter. They had just crossed the bridge into the small district, and were quickly approaching the carpenter's shop. Gill struggled against Luke's hold one last time, but resistance was futile; Luke was much stronger than he was, as much as he hated to admit it.
Luke pushed open the door of the shop and marched right in, Gill being dragged along behind him. Luke finally released Gill's arm when they entered, and Gill rubbed his shoulder and gritted his teeth.
Dale, the head carpenter, was working on something behind is desk, cutting a large piece of wood with a buzz saw in the back of the room. The noise was loud and ear splitting, and Gill immediately brought his hands up to cover his ears. Luke, who must have been used to the noise, yelled, "POPS, WE'VE GOT COMPANY!"
Dale stopped the automatic saw and removed his safety goggles, turning around to meet the two. Gill had seen the big man on a few occasions before. He looked the same as he always did: his blue hair was messy and pulled back into a ponytail, much like Luke's was. He had a big mustache that reminded Gill of a caterpillar, and wore dirty, sawdust covered work clothes. When he saw who his son had brought home with him, he raised a bushy eyebrow.
"The mayor's son, eh? I just got a call to come check out your house, boy, heard it needs some repairs."
That would be an understatement, Gill thought. He didn't say anything, however, and took a sudden interest in the carpet.
Dale turned back to whatever he was working on, which was starting to look like a chair leg. "Well, Luke, show him around and pull out the old air mattress."
"Alright, Pops!" Luke chimed, and was about to grab hold of Gill's arm again, but Gill stopped him.
"Hey, wait a second," Gill stopped the over-eager boy and directed his eyes towards the back of Dale. The man just put back on the safety goggles and was about to start up the saw again, but stopped when he heard Gill's voice directed at him. Gill continued, "You said you got the call, so why aren't you going down to inspect the house now? It's an emergency; you shouldn't be making chairs when someone just lost their house! You should be fixing it!"
Gill was only speaking his mind, and his mind was angry. This man wasn't putting the mayor's wishes first! Shouldn't all towns' people be doing that?
Gill realized he made a very big mistake when he glanced over at Luke. The boy looked very frightened. But not for himself. For his houseguest.
Before Gill knew what was happening, Dale had stormed over to the boy and gotten right in his face, sticking a finger in his direction. In an angry, loud voice, he said, "Listen up, pretty boy! You ain't in Kansas anymore! This is my house now, and you've got to follow my rules! And rule number one is you let me do things my way, by my own time, and you don't rush me or tell me what to do! Now, mister prissy-pants, one more wrong word out of you and you're out of here! Got it?"
Gill had never, ever been spoken to like that before in his entire life. He was the mayor's son, the next in line for power. No one ever dared to say things like that to him, at least not to his face. This was all so new to him. And, although he knew he should feel angry, he felt something else. He felt a strong sense of… respect for Dale. Respectful because he had the guts to stick up to Gill like that. So Gill quietly stammered, "Y-yes, sir," in response, his cheeks reddening.
There was a short silence that filled the usually noisy house as Dale turned to get back to his work. After a few seconds, Luke broke the silence, (what a surprise), by saying, "Come on, buddy, I'll show you to our room!"
Gill almost groaned aloud when Luke said 'our' room; he had been hoping there was a nice, quiet closet he could sleep in, as far away from Luke as possible. This time Luke let Gill walk around freely, without having to be dragged anywhere. Luke showed Gill to a door at the back of the store, which led to a small hallway. The hallway had three doors branching off of it, not including the one the boys had just walked through.
"So that door down there is the bathroom," Luke pointed to the last door, and Gill shivered. He wasn't too eager about sharing a bathroom with Luke's family. Luke continued, "Here's Pop's room, which I suggest you stay out of if you like living, and-"
"And there's me and Bo's room! That's where you'll sleep, too, buddy!"
Gill almost forgot there was another carpenter who lived here, too: Bo. Younger than Luke, and seemingly a lot calmer, thank goddess.
"Come on, Gilligan, I'll give you the grand tour of our room!"
"Don't call me that," Gill mumbled in response, following Luke through the green wooden door.
The room was small and smelled heavily of sawdust and pine. There were pictures on the wall of super-deluxe models of axes at extremely high prices, some very poorly-drawn pictures, some framed newspaper articles, and some family photos of some sort. There were two identical beds, although one was messy and one was made. There was one small closet, which was wide open and very messy, and a few other homemade-looking furniture items. Gill snorted. It was so… tiny.
"So, I think there's an air mattress in the closet somewhere!" Luke said, beaming at Gill. Gill looked at the messy, overflowing closet. It was packed to the top with useless junk, clothes and tools and other random things stacked on top of each other until you could barely walk into the small closet. Gill smirked. It would take Luke forever to find it in there.
"Let's get searching!" Luke said happily, and was about to run at the closet when his dad's voice erupted from the shop. "Luke, c'mere for a sec, I need you're help with this."
"Coming!" Luke yelled back. He turned to Gill, saluted him, then ran out of the room, saying over his shoulder as he went, "You can start looking, Gilligan!"
"It's Gill!" Gill yelled back, but Luke had already gone. Gill turned to the closet.
The more Gill stared at the stinky, messy, crammed closet, the more hopeless looking for some dumb air mattress seemed. I'll just wait until Luke get's back, Gill decided. There's no way I'm going in there.
But the longer he stood there with his arms crossed and his expression sour, the more he thought about Dale's "rules". What if he hated lazy people who made other people do things for them? What if he got mad at Gill for not helping out while Luke was working? It was awfully generous of him to house one more person, after all, so would he expect Gill to pull his own weight?
Finally, Gill sighed in defeat, dropped his bag onto the floor, plugged his nose, and journeyed further into the unknown.
It was about twenty minutes later when Gill finally gave up.
At first it hadn't been so bad. He moved around piles of dirty laundry, many broken carpentry tools, boxes of all sizes, and other useless junk to try to get to the shelves, figuring that's where the air mattress would be. But then came the rotten food. And the old mud pies someone must have made as children. And the sticky liquid all over the ground and closet walls that must have been from something spilling in there a long, long time ago. And the smell. The smell was the worst part.
When Gill emerged from the surprisingly large closet, his clothes had dirtied themselves even further: they were now sticky, covered in some strange purple goop, and smelled like rotten tomatoes; something Gill never, ever wanted to smell like.
He threw himself onto the messy bed, which he assumed was Luke's, and stared up at the ceiling, panting. Two traumatizing experiences in one day. That was a new record.
Luke kicked open the door a few minutes later, still wearing that goofy smile. "Hey, Gill-Bill! How goes it?"
Gill sat up, face turning red with anger. "You're closet is absolutely DISGUSTING! Look what happened to my clothes! And I couldn't even find the stupid air mattress, so-"
"Oh, yeah, I was just going to tell you- the air mattress was in Pop's closet, not this one. I've got it right here." Luke held up an old, deflated mattress. Gill's eyes grew wide. Luke chucked nervously, "Hehe, sorry about that!"
Gill was about to open his mouth and give this stupid carpenter a piece of his mind, but Luke cut him off. "Pew! You smell like rotten tomatoes, Gill! You should go wash up!"
Gill looked down at his ruined clothes, now covered in soot, dirt, purple goop, sticky liquid, and bad smells. "Yeah, that's not a bad idea…" he mumbled.
Luke looked proud of himself. "Bathroom's right next door!"
Gill grabbed his duffle bag and hurried into the bathroom.
It wasn't quite as bad as he imagined it to be, but it still wasn't anywhere near what he was used to. The mirror was dirty in some places, toothbrushes and toothpaste lay randomly on the small counter, towels littered the ground, and the tub was in desperate need of some scrubbing. Gill glowered.
He ran the faucet for a few seconds until warm water flowed from the sink, then he splashed his face with water, trying to get the sooty smell off. Then he took a change of clothes out of his bag and put it on. It was his last pair of pants and his last shirt; he decided to leave the sweater vest and tie off, deciding they wouldn't be needed here. Once again feeling angry and frustrated at his moronic father for burning the rest of his precious clothes, he carried his bag back into Luke and Bo's room.
Luke was sitting on his bed, playing with his glove idly. When he saw Gill enter again, he piped up, "Oh, Gill, I meant to ask you: when you were looking through our closet, you didn't happen to open the chest under the shelves, did you?"
Gill raised an eyebrow. "No. Why?"
Luke instantly looked relieved. "Oh, no reason. I just didn't want you to find the disembodied-"
"Luke, you and you're friend have work to do!" Dale interrupted from the other room.
"Coming, Pops!" Luke replied, and turned to leave.
Gill just stared at him. "Luke, what were you about to say?"
He turned around and winked. Then continued out the door.
"Luke, wait!" Gill yelled after him, and hurried after him.
Gill followed Luke back into the shop, anxiously trailing behind him. Dale was waiting behind the counter.
"Alright, boys, we've got a lot of big projects coming up, so I need you to gather some lumber in Fugue Forest. Oh, and bring Bo his lunch while you're at it; he's at Marimba Farms inspecting some old gate they want fixed. Your lunches are on the kitchen table along with Bo's. Got it?"
"Roger that, Pops!" Luke said confidently, and grabbed two mini coolers that were sitting on the kitchen table in the room next door. Luke's dog, Boss, barked as he passed. Then the blue-haired carpenter grabbed an extra axe off the wall and strung it through his belt loop; now he had two. When Luke got back to Gill, he handed him a cooler, grabbed his free arm, and hauled him out the door, saying goodbye to his dad as he left.
Gill allowed himself to be dragged along until they got outside, then he quickly yanked his arm out of Luke's grasp. "Alright," Gill started heatedly, "first off, I didn't sign up for any work! You're lucky I'm even letting you keep me here! Secondly, tell me what you meant by what you said before!"
Luke looked thoughtful for a second, then said, "Well, I dunno if Pops would like to here that you don't want to help… and you'd probably get paid!"
Those two reasons were enough for Gill to grumble, "Fine. But you didn't answer my second question!"
Luke stared at the silver-haired boy for a second. Then he burst out into uncontrollable laughter. Tears were forming in his eyes as he doubled over, laughing and laughing. Gill stared at him as if he had a third arm growing from his back. Finally, when Luke calmed down enough to speak, he giggled, "You're funny, Gill! I can't wait to teach you how to chop down a tree!"
And he turned and continued to skip along the dirt path, and Gill had no choice but to follow him. "Great," he mumbled, "glad you're excited."
Because he sure as hell wasn't.
A/N: Oh, stop complaining, Gill, half of my childhood gets burnt down every other day and you never see me complaining!
Please review! It means so much to me, and Luke and Gill would be ALL YOURS if you did! :D (But please allow 6 to 8 weeks to delivery). Next chapter: Gill meets Bo, and Luke teaches Gill how to chop down a tree! Will Gill succeed, or die in the process? Who will attend the funeral? What's hidden in Luke's closet? FIND OUT ALL THIS AND MORE IN THE NEXT CHAPTER! (Which will only come if you review, may I remind you :P)
Thanks for reading!
p.s.- No, the thing in the closet was not at all relevant to the story line, and probably won't appear again at any point.